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Eastern Prickly Gooseberry, Pasture Gooseberry, Dog Berry

Ribes cynosbati

Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes (RYE-bees) (Info)
Species: cynosbati (sigh-nos-BAT-ee) (Info)
Synonym:Grossularia cynosbati


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Green

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jacksonville, Illinois

Moline, Illinois

Crothersville, Indiana

Minneapolis, Minnesota

West Kill, New York

Dundee, Ohio

Granville, Ohio

East Burke, Vermont

Newport Center, Vermont

Colville, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 20, 2015, malsprower from Daytona, FL wrote:

These grew wild in Northern Vermont, the berries were thorny so eating them took skill. They tasted very delicious, they were dark purple. In Wisconsin, they also grew wild but there were not thorny, yet the same dark purple. The taste was floral and perfumey. The prickly little buggers were my first introduction to gooseberries. They are worth growing!


On Apr 21, 2009, GunZ_McGraw from Millgrove,
Canada wrote:

Great plant! One turned into six through simple layering. Fruit is pale/ lime green with vertical bands. Firm, smooth and about the size of a marble. Turns maroon as it ripens. Young fruit tart. Sweeter with colour. Japanese Beetles decimate my roses 10 feet away but never touch my Gosseberry. The spines on the branches are very sharp. Ouch! I have used them in pies.
One-half cup of fresh gooseberries contains 34 calories; the berry is high in Vitamin C and contains potassium, Vitamins B1, B2 and A.


On Feb 18, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Interesting plant, indeed! I have two - orignally one plant but one was naturally rooted from a cutting and then separated from the parent plant - both plants are in woodland shade, growing happily but never product a single fruit. This species have loads of spines so would have been a good security plant as the spines varies. I dug it from the wild some years ago since it was a shrub growing in shade - I wanted as natural a shade garden as possible. It thrives well in shade but of course can be a bit pain to trim (chuckles). It is a well behaving plant in shade, never sending shoots away from the parent plant.


On Jul 14, 2006, Lamiaceae from Granville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This small (3') shrub is native to woodlands of the eastern US. I'm currently trying it out in the fruit garden, and I'm quite pleased with the results. The fruit is round, generally about 15 mm in diameter (can be larger or smaller depending on how many are on a bush) and turns maroon when ripe. They are covered with small, sharp prickles; this makes them difficult to eat out-of-hand, so they are perhaps best cooked down for jelly, etc. Their flavor is a bit like kiwifruit, but not exactly.

Unfortunately, the plant is a favorite of Japanese Beetles.


On Jun 2, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grows well here, produces lucious berries, which the birds do love to sneak before we get them! Easy to maintain, just prune out the old branches.